Friday, May 16, 2014

Louvered Shutters Come in Many Styles

Louvered, or raised panel, shutters come in a variety of different styles and patterns to suit almost every architectural taste, from ultra-modern to antebellum traditional. The most common and recognizable style of exterior shutters used on many buildings today is called the "open louvered style."

The appearance of these shutters can be altered simply by changing the width of the horizontal pieces called battens, or by alternating decorative panels with battens; purely ornamental touches like beaded trim can also be incorporated to customize the appearance of the shutters further. Some of the different louvered styles available include board and batten, raised panel and faux louvered.

Louvered shutters are available in both standard and custom sizes plus a variety of colors and materials including wood, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass and composites and polymers that look like real wood yet require less maintenance and upkeep than real wood. Wooden shutters can be stained or painted to match existing building trim work, and color matching installation screws or pre-punched hole covers help to maintain a unified appearance. Decorative hardware that comes in different finishes can also be added to enhance the look of these shutters.

It is critical to consider weather and climate conditions when selecting louvered shutters. Some shutters are specially rated for high wind, can be closed to protect windows and tolerate squalls and storms like the ones seen in coastal areas; special reinforcement bars can also be installed to help the shutters withstand hurricane force winds. Most vinyl, composite and polymer shutters are designed to be easy maintenance and withstand corrosion and rot in humid climates. Intense sunshine, however, can fade shutters made from synthetic materials. All paneled shutters are not the same and therefore the different options should be evaluated carefully to determine which materials will fare best for the longest period of time under the local climate conditions.


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